Cryptocurrency mining in Cuba is a victim of the electricity crisis that the Caribbean island is going through, where blackouts interrupt the operation of mining hardware and affect the potential income of its operators.
For several months, the inhabitants of Cuba have been subjected to constant blackouts lasting up to 10 hours. In addition to meteorological phenomena such as Hurricane Ian, the state of the country’s power plants is far from optimal. As a result, power generation capacity has fallen short of demand.
According to Raydel Gonzalez’s – a local crypto minder – testimony to local media, he and many Cubans have taken refuge in cryptocurrency mining “to survive”, as this represents an alternative source of income that allows them to pay for products and services even abroad.
However, electricity service interruptions have suppressed the profitability of this activity in the country.
Cuban miners run out of alternative solutions
Eduardo Gómez, another Cuban miner, tried to supply himself with electricity by means of his own generator, but this was not an effective solution to his problem either. “I thought the solution was to buy a power plant and after that came the fuel crisis. Many times I spent the whole day to be able to buy a little gasoline and in the end, with its price and the number of hours that the blackouts increased, it was no longer profitable to do that either,” Gómez commented.
The internet, another essential resource for cryptocurrency mining, is also affected by blackouts and fuel shortages in Cuba, as plants stop working. So, miners who manage to keep their equipment on may face this other vicissitude.
One of the riskiest solutions that some cryptocurrency miners in Cuba opt for is to move their equipment to their jobs, since the state’s workplaces have power plants. However, this can lead to consequences such as the loss of their jobs and mining hardware, as well as more serious sanctions.
The last option resorted to by many miners on the island is to sell their equipment, most of the time at a loss, in order to recover at least a part of their investment. “Today you can find mining rigs in Cuba at prices really below their value, because almost nobody can use them,” according to miner Eduardo Gómez.
Cuban government predicts improvements in electric service
The Cuban state-owned company Unión Eléctrica has been registering a decrease in the energy deficit during the last few days. In fact, it is estimated that daytime hours will no longer be affected by blackouts from now on.
Although the Government of Cuba announced that it would carry out the pertinent repairs to the national electric system and invest in its strengthening, in order to reduce the effects of blackouts before the end of 2022, some users question these statements and argue that the decrease in the electricity deficit is only due to the cool weather of this time of the year. Therefore, as soon as another heat wave arrives, blackouts would increase again.
In Venezuela, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners have gone through situations similar to those experienced by Cubans in terms of deficiencies in services such as electricity and internet. Although the Venezuelan energy situation currently does not look as dire as it did after the 2019 national blackout, it still requires urgent attention so that it can be a system capable of sustaining the country’s demand.
Many Venezuelan miners were hopeful thanks to a possible agreement between the national government and Siemens Energy AG. This would consist in the recovery of 9,000 megawatts of power from the electric system by 2025.